Friday, February 1, 2008

January 2008 Budget Update

It's already February! Time flies when you're having fun.

Here's how I did with my budget this month:

Earned Income after taxes and withholdings
Job 1: $1530
Job 2: $512
Total income: $2042

Housing/utilities/internet: $365
Transportation: $82.68 for gas (still have half a tank left, can go for another week)
Groceries and Supplies: $221.63 (have enough food left for another two weeks)
  • Grocery stores: $134.84
  • Restaurants: $62.53
  • Haircut: $19.95
  • Post Office: $4.31
Transfer to "Save to Spend" account: $100 (also took money out from this account to pay for car insurance premium)
Student loans: $87
Other debt: $725 ( 0% to my sister)
Gym: $45

Repay myself for car purchase: $400

Total expenses: $2026.31

Good News
  • The tenants at my rental property just paid their rent.. on time.. and they haven't been calling with complaints and problems! I was a little concerned that they'd be high-maintenance but I was wrong! I love being wrong about stuff like this.
  • My 403b withholdings are all set up and I've already contributed $1290 this month. This should continue for the rest of the year.
  • I liquidated some old investments before the markets fell. I have already used $5000 to pay off some of my credit cards. I am holding the other $5000 until I open a Roth, which should be next month.
  • My remaining debt breaks down as follows:
    • Sister 0%: $8525
    • WaMu 0%: $1250
    • Advanta 0%: $2063
    • Student loans: $835
  • February is a short month. I have enough food to last me a couple more weeks and enough gas to last another week. I have a week off which I may be spending with my family (even more free food!). I expect my living expenses to be fairly low next month which should allow me to save up for my summer trip or eat out a few more times :)


LIZ said...

Amazing that you can get away with only spending about $85.00/month on gas! I am spending that per week, which includes filling up twice. I drive about 60 miles round trip to and from work, plus whatever "running around" I do. It is a huge expense and one that I do not see going down anytime in the near future. :(
This month, I did do something different, however, with my gas and my grocery budget. For the past 4 months, I have been tracking exactly how much I spend on both. My averages totaled about $360 on groceries (for me and my son) and $320 on gas. Since I had a rough idea of what those expenses would be, when I got paid, I bought gift cards for my local grocery and gas stores in those ammounts. That way, I know that I have my monthly gas and grocery bill covered and don't end up spending that $ on other stuff. Once all my bills are paid (rent, utilities, loans, savings, daycare, etc.) anything that is left over is fun money. I am curious to see how this will work out by the end of the month. Oh, and my grocery store gives .10 off gas for every $50.00 spent so with the gift cards, I will be getting a slight discount on the gas providing that I fill up at the participating gas station.

moneychallenge said...

Liz, what a great idea with the gift cards. I may try that in order to get the gas discount.. my local grocery store does that too.

As for the $85 in gas, I must say I have an enviable commute. I live less than five miles from work and most other places I travel to. Most of my gas usage is during those seconds of idling after I turn the car on and start driving!

Liz said...

Give the gift card idea a try. I am doing it not so much for the gas discount (because I'd be getting that anyways when I buy the groceries and you can't "double dip" and get the discount on gas by buying gas!!) but more for keeping myself on budget. By doing it this way, I know that ALL of my non-negotiable expenses are paid for at once and anything else is my entertainment/fun money (mainly dining out, happy hours, gifts, etc.). Unfortunatley, what I tend to do is spend $ on fun stuff that later on in the month I will need at the gas pump/grocery store. I will see how this works. I enjoy reading your blog-thanks!